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Knicks’ RJ Barrett can’t wait to play Cam Reddish again

More than anyone in the Knicks organization, RJ Barrett has the inside scoop on playing Cam Reddish.

So when management asked him a few questions about his former Duke teammate before getting Reddish from the Hawks on Thursday, Barrett filled them in.

“If I knew Cam, he’s up to the challenge,” Barrett said Friday. “I think he will do a good job here. He will have a chance to be a great piece for this team. … It was easy to play with him [at Duke]. So I hope that translates to the NBA as well.”

It remains to be seen exactly how Reddish will fit in with the Knicks, but they won’t find out yet. Coach Tom Tibodo said Reddish would be out “for a while” with an ankle sprain, but declined to provide a timetable. That means Reddish won’t get a chance to take on his former team on Saturday night when the Knicks play in Atlanta.

But the Knicks have piqued the 22-year-old’s interest, and will give him a chance for a fresh start, even if he leaves a crowded group of wards in Atlanta for another crowded group of wards in New York.

RJ Barrett (right) will be reunited with his former Duke teammate Cam Reddish (left).
Getty, USA Today Sports

“It gives us a chance to look at Cam,” Tibodo said. “We’ll see when he gets here, see how he fits in and then go from there. … The size, the sports, the position of the wing, that kind of thing. Sometimes a change of scenery is good for people. So we’ll see how it unfolds.”

The Knicks gave up a protected first-round pick (via the Hornets) and Kevin Knox to land Reddish, Solomon Hill (who will miss the season) and the 2025 pick for the second round.

“I feel good, I can’t wait for it to start,” Reddish told the Knicks Digital Team as he boarded the plane to Atlanta. “I am looking forward to meeting everyone, meeting all the guys. I haven’t seen RJ in a minute, so it would be good to see him.”

GM Hawks and President Travis Schlink told reporters Friday that Reddish, in their latest season, “has expressed a desire to get into a position where they can play a slightly bigger role.” Schlink said the Knicks’ offer of a first-round pick, despite his protection, made the deal worth the risk of giving up Reddish’s potential.

“I don’t know if New York would be the perfect location for Cam or not, but my job is to get the best value possible for Cam Reddish,” Schlink said. “He can definitely go ahead and have a high-level career and I wouldn’t be at all shocked by that.”

Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett during his Duke teammates.
Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett during his Duke teammates.
Getty Images

In Atlanta, Reddish has been fighting for two minutes (averaging 23.4 this season) alongside fellow wingers Kevin Huerter, Bogdan Bogdanovic and DeAndre Hunter. Thibodeau said it’s too soon to know what kind of role Reddish will play with the Knicks, but the 6-foot-8 winger will likely come off the bench behind Barrett and Evan Fournier alongside fellow winger Alec Borks (when he doesn’t start in point guard). ) and rookie Quentin Grimes.

“I don’t think you can get enough wings,” said Tibodo, who described the Knicks suite’s website as “loaded.” “That’s kind of the way Dorina went. I like it [Reddish’s] cleverness. He can play three positions. In the NBA today, I think that’s important.

“Our Scouts valued it and they feel it strongly.”

Cam Reddish
Cam Reddish competed with the other wings to play in Atlanta.
NBAE via Getty Images

The No. 10 pick in the 2019 draft averaged 11.9 points on a career high with 37.9 percent of shots from outside the arc in 34 games this season. Reddish flashes a reminder of his potential in December when he scored a pair of 30-plus games in a four-game span. But he also didn’t score in his last two games as Hawk, although he only played 3:14 in his last game before coming off with an ankle injury.

Reddish, who traveled to New York to undergo a physical exam and meet the team in time to return to Atlanta, called Barrett on Thursday to get a summary of his new organization.

“It’s great to be playing with my brother the Duke again,” Barrett said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m happy, I can’t wait for him to get here. … I mean he’s 6-8 years old, very skilled, [can] He hit the ball, finished with both hands, and played a great defense. So you get a good, talented player.”

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